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As part of the Employer Nominated Scheme and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme review process the Government announced the implementation of a single list of occupations to provide a simpler and more consistent approach to sponsorship across the skill stream of visas without restricting the flexibility of programs such as the Labour Agreement and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme categories. The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) is a single list of occupations which replaces the State/Territory Nominated (STATSOL), the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENSOL), Subclass 442 Occupational Trainee and the Subclass 457 Skilled Occupation Lists and determines occupations that applicants can nominate under these programs from 1 July 2012. Not only does this make it easier for the visa applicant to find the right list, it also means for some 457 visa holders who were not able to apply for an ENS visa under the old rules that they are now eligible for permanent resident under the Employer Nomination Scheme.
For example, the occupations of “Customer Service Manger” and “Restaurant Manager” were previously on the 457 list but not the ENS list under the old rules. Now both these occupations and many others appear on the new consolidated list. It is now possible to commence on a 457 with greater confidence with the knowledge that the same occupation with be on the ENS list when ready to apply for ENS at a later stage.
Furthermore, with this new CSOL List, current 457 visa holders whose nominated occupation was not on the ENS list prior to 30 Jun2 2012, now may very well find that their occupation is on the new list. This will provide a great opportunity to apply for permanent residency. Check with us at firstname.lastname@example.org is you are now eligible to apply for Permanent Residence
The new visa subclasses allow for family members to be included whilst the application is still underway. Previously, this arrangement was not possible. The visa had to be granted before the applicant would be offered the option of including members of their family unit with their visa. Not only was the option inconveniencing, it was also expensive as majority of the applicants would be students.
The life of English results, such as IELTS and OET, are now valid for 3 years from 1 July 2012.
This applies to all visa subclasses, not just the new General Skilled Subclasses. This relieves the pressure felt by applicants previously when the life of the IELTS and OET was only 2 year rule.
Under SkillSelect, international students who finished their studies more than 6 months ago can apply for skilled visas. Under previous arrangements they had to apply for a waiver of the work experience requirement.
Furthermore, studies undertaken in Australia need not be directly related to the nominated occupation as points may be attained for qualifications which are dissimilar to the occupation nominated in the one’s application.
Unlike previous lodgement procedures, the new skilled visa subclasses can only be lodged online with no options for paper applications.
Unlike a visa application, an Expression of Interest is not considered to be visa application unless an applicant has been invited to make an application and has gone ahead to make a valid application. Consequently, making an Expression of Interest will not give the outcome of a bridging visa.
If you are onshore (mainly international students) and considering making an application using this pathway, you should first consider all your options and know whether you are currently able to apply directly for skilled migration without first receiving an invitation. International students whose visas are expiring should consider other visa options allowing them to remain in Australia whilst the invitation process is being completed (such as graduate skilled visas, 457 visas or further student visas).
The occupation ceiling has been introduced to preclude the skilled migration program from being overrun by a constricted range of occupations. The way the ceiling would work is once the number of occupations is reached for a particular unit group within each year, no further invitations for skilled migration from that unit group will be issued by the Department.
The occupation ceiling applies to the following visa classes: independent (subclass 189), family sponsored (subclass 489) and State/Territory government nominated (subclass 190 and subclass 489) visas. Previously, the ceiling would apply to the subclasses in total, with no specific focus on occupations.
Factors which will affect the occupation ceiling are: job growth and replacement demand. The factors will be determined as part of the annual migration program settings each year. Each occupation unit group will have a distinctive ceiling which when reached in a program year, no further invitations will be issued in that program year to that occupation group.
Once the occupation ceiling is attained, invitations will then be passed on to other occupation groups, regardless of whether they are of lower scoring EOIs. The occupation ceiling does not apply to the Business Skills program (subclasses 188 and 132) or to any of the employer sponsored visa programs.
The pass mark to be eligible for the EOI – SkillSelect (Subclasses 189, 190 and 489) under the new points test as of 1 July 2012 is 60.
The pass mark for present General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas which are still open until 31 December 2012 will remain at 65. This category would be for those applicants coming through the student pathways.
The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) was adjusted by 4.2% from $49,330 to $51,400 on 1 July 2012. The TSMIT is indexed annually according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures to ensure that not only are skilled employees attracted to the workforce but also that fluctuations in salaries in the Australian market are felt across the board through the threshold.
The onshore migration program has been expanded to include new permanent employer-sponsored visas. These previously consisted of both onshore and offshore visas. The new program has collapsed the offshore and onshore visas to two new visa classes without any distinction between onshore and offshore.
The same now applies for people who apply for skilled migration visas, regardless of whether the application was made onshore or offshore.
The situation used to be that people who lodged offshore skilled applications had to depart Australia once the visa was ready to be approved. With the new arrangements, applicants no longer have to make unnecessary and expensive overseas journeys so that the visa may be granted.
Under the new skilled migration program, people who have had breaks in their occupations can still apply without having to demonstrate that they have been active in a skilled job for one year out of the last two years.
Such rules implicitly meant that certain subsets of the community such as people who took a career break were left out of the program until they had acquired enough experience back in the work force to qualify to lodge an application.
The new AustraliaMigrate website was launched today.
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On July 2012, the Permanent Skilled Migration under Employer Sponsorship went through many changes. The program was tightened up in specific areas such as English fluency, training requirements that companies have to provide and more defined criteria for exceptional circumstances such as for age and skill. Read more.
From 24th March 2012, students from 29 countries around the world will have their Australian visa assessment levels relaxed.
Immigration minister Chris Bowen made the announcement on February 15 in response to a report from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
“Lowering the minimum evidentiary requirement for the grant of a student visa for selected countries and visa subclasses is expected to help around 10,500 prospective students.”
According to Bowen, the reduction in assessment levels for student migration visas would allow organisation involved in vocational education and training, postgraduate research and the popular series of English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).
“For an industry that has been faced with lowered international involvement over several years, the measures could help to bring in more full-fee-paying enrolments, leading to an increase in funding.
Robinson, CEO of Universities Australia, said: “It really is a terrific outcome not just for the higher education sector but for the Australian economy more broadly because at a time we’re seeing manufacturing struggling, tourism struggling, both primarily because of the strong Australian dollar, it’s really important for those industries that are strong to be able to step up to offset some of those economic implications. “The international education sector is Australia’s third largest export industry, and over the 2010-11 period international higher education students spent an average of $38,000 each in this country on goods, services and fees.”
Another important reform initiative to streamline skilled migration will be the introduction of SkillSelect from 1 July 2012.
SkillSelect is a new skilled migrant selection register which has as its objective to capitalise on the point test system and will ensure the selection of the “best and brightest” skilled migrants from a pool of prospective migrants.
SkillSelect will be based on an electronic two-stage process whereby prospective migrants first submit an expression of interest and may subsequently be invited by the department to make a skilled migration visa application.
Currently, the department is formulating an implementation strategy which will lay out the mechanics of SkillSelect and will be submitted to the government in the coming months.
As there will be no assurance that an expression of interest will lead to an invitation by the Department of Immigration to lodge a skilled migration application, we encourage anyone who is eligible now under the current point test to apply for their visa as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Australia Needs Migrants – Participation and Productivity
A frequent misconception about Australia’s migration program is that its primary effect on the economy is through population growth. It is often overlooked that skilled migrants positively impact on the other two Ps of economic growth: participation and productivity. As Australia feels the effects of an ageing population leading to a proportionally smaller labour force, skilled migrants to Australia show that they are far more likely to have university-level qualifications than the local population. They bring with them the experience of having lived and worked in different environments, conditions and circumstances.
As a consequence, skilled migrants are likely to be working in a full time job, and have excellent prospects for generating a high rate of pay in the Australian labour market.
Importantly, skilled migrants help establish international networks that foster trade, knowledge sharing, research and innovation. It is recognized by the Australian Government that the temporary and permanent skilled migration programs are delivering real benefits to Australia’s economic performance which can be found in skilled migrants’ participation rates and earnings, which are both above those of the Australian born population